Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hearing And Doing The Word Of God

The Apostle James said, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22).

From Saturday to Saturday we hear our sharers of the Word of God who are expert in the exposition of the WORD, but the most important question to ask is: ARE WE DOING what we are hearing? This is most difficult to answer in the affirmative.

For example the simple command “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18 and Matt. 19:19), can we really fulfill this even if our neighbor is not lovable in his/her ways toward us? Most of the commandments of God are not only very difficult to obey or comply: they are IMPOSSIBLE! God knowing this, and being a loving and patient God who does not want anyone “to perish but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 2:9), He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, as a sacrificial lamb, that whosoever BELIEVES on him shall be saved and have ETERNAL life. Jesus himself said, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, no one comes to the Father (or enter heaven) EXCEPT through me” (John 14:6). Otherwise, heaven will be an empty place because “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).

The word BELIEVE is highly significant because it has a deep theological meaning just like the theology that the precious blood of Jesus Christ was shed in the cross of Calvary which covers our sins for “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness (or remission) of sin” (Hebrews 9:22). As soon as we BELIEVE and ACCEPT with all our heart that only the sacrificial love, shedding of blood and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ on our stead, and continue to do so, our sins though scarlet red, are erased or covered by the blood of Jesus. Consequently, ETERNAL LIFE becomes our inheritance.

Jesus said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” (John 3:14-15)… whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18 KJV). Thus, theologians say that the heart of the Bible (O.T. and N.T.) is what Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world (mankind) through him” (John 3:16-17 KJV).

How will a true “believer” of Jesus Christ or God in the flesh, that is one “born again” be known? The Lord Jesus said, “By their fruit you will know them” (Matt. 7:16). What is this fruit? The answer is: “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL…” (Gal. 5:22). Stated otherwise, a true believer or disciple of Christ, or “born-again” person has these characteristic traits or spiritual fruit. Have you ever seen one? Are you one of such a person?

This brings and reminds us of what the Apostle James said: “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). If we read the Bible or listen as it is taught to us but we fail to put to work or do what we have learned, we do not deserve to be saved from eternal damnation. It is only by the GRACE (or undeserved favor) of God through acceptance or faith in Jesus Christ that our souls are saved. Thus, the Bible says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (or believing with all our heart [without any doubt whatsoever]) – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works (or good deeds), so that no one can boast” (Eph. 2:8-9 NIV). But, let us continue reading the next verse which says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10 NIV). Stated otherwise, a true believer/born again person will necessarily do good works for the kingdom of God.

Hearing must be matched by our doing. Even if we take delight to read or hear God’s Word, but it is of NO use or value at all to us unless we do what we heard and learned.

In the famous words of former Philippine Senator, Dr. Juan Flavier who was formerly our Department of Health Secretary (DOH), “Let us DOH do it”.

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